FBI Columbia
Public Affairs Specialist Denise Taiste
(803) 551-4200
May 2, 2014

FBI Partners with DHS to Host Comprehensive Incident Threat Response Exercise

The Columbia Field Office of the FBI hosted a training exercise to simulate a complex terrorist attack in a public venue. The exercise took place on Thursday, May 1, 2014, beginning at 11:00 p.m. and ending on Friday, May 2, 2014 at 6:00 a.m. at the Columbiana Mall located at 100 Columbiana Circle, Columbia, South Carolina, 29212.

The FBI and DHS partnered with representatives from state and local law enforcement, fire, emergency medical services (EMS) and the private sector to execute the final phase of the Complex Mall Attack Initiative, which was developed to promote preparedness. In 2013, all FBI field offices hosted facilitated discussions with public safety and private sector partners that focused on preparedness, response, and recovery efforts necessary to effectively address a complex attack. The FBI is committed to strengthening public safety and private sector partnerships necessary to protect the United States and its citizens.

Every effort was made to schedule this exercise so as not to interfere with normal mall operations. The Columbiana Mall officials took the necessary precautions on Thursday, May 1, 2014 thru Friday, May 2, 2014 and asked the public to avoid the mall property during this time.

The FBI has an Active Shooter and Mass Casualty Incidents web page as a resource for law enforcement and the public to learn more about critical incidents involving mass casualties. “The FBI is committed to strengthening our relationships with law enforcement and private sector partners to ensure that we are all prepared for the unlikely event of an attack in South Carolina,” FBI Special Agent in Charge David A. Thomas said.

“An active shooter incident calls for immediate and coordinated action on the part of law enforcement. This is the type of call we hope to never receive but we must be prepared. Partnering with other agencies to train for an event such as this is critical if we are to respond appropriately and cooperatively to protect our citizens,” SLED Chief Mark Keel said.

Columbia Police Chief William “Skip” Holbrook said, “Law enforcement training is fundamental to saving lives and protecting citizens especially in a mass casualty emergency. This opportunity helped build our capacity to respond to such events more efficiently and with greater success with other local, state and federal agencies.”

Participating agencies included: FBI Columbia Division, SLED, Columbia Police Department, NCIS, and Allied Barton Security.